In this world of weirdness, text messages drive me bananas.
My wife is a closet poet. She has always penned poetry for special occasions, just because she felt like it. They’re all pretty good, and I’ve kept a few funny poems she wrote to me before we were married.
A couple of years ago, she and I vacationed alone on the island of Kauai, in Hawaii. We rented a small, two bedroom bungalow that was barely nine hundred feet of living space, and settled in for more than a week of peace and relaxation.
A shady front porch looked out on a lime tree, heavy with ripe fruit. Past the wooden fence, folks on their way to the beach waved as we sat in the cool breeze and sipped our beverage of the moment, whether it was coffee in the morning, or coconut concoctions in the evenings.
When dusk approached, she and I moved to the back deck where we continued with our beverages while I grilled fresh fish beside an equally loaded avocado tree. When the mosquitos ran us inside, we left all the windows open to enjoy the ocean breeze through the screens.
For us, it was paradise.
We discovered lychee fruit, and like little kids ate fresh coconut, star fruit, pineapple, mango, papaya; the juice dripping off our chins.
The fish market was only a hundred yards away. Our evening meals were grilled opah, aku, ahi, mah’hee mah’hee, and our favorite, ono.
I spent the entire vacation trying to talk my bride into buying a house just like the one we were renting. “We can move here and I’ll get a job while you work for the school district. It’ll be great.”
“We’ll be too far from our kids. They can only come see us a couple of times a year.”
She didn’t get my drift, or I didn’t get hers.
In the months after we returned, I tried to talk her into moving to Paradise. I usually waited until she had a bad day at work, and then I’d hit her with the memory of just how great the little town of Hanalei was, and how we could just walk to the store, or the fish market, or the beach. I hammered home the perfect weather, and the laid-back atmosphere.
But I was not making any progress.
Then in the middle of a hot, summer afternoon, I received a text from my lovely bride from her third story office. When I read it at first, I thought she’d been inspired to leap from poetry to some strange Haiku in progress.
It was obviously unfinished, but the rhythm and beauty of the words made me stiffen in surprise. It read:
I left my post
it seems like
there was one more thing.
On the island.
As I pondered those words, a second text arrived, to finish the thought.
Wow, words with power! I read it again in its entirety, loving the flow.
I wept at the beauty, then considered the thoughts presented on the screen of my iPhone.
“I left my post.” Did she mean she’d quit her job and we were finally headed to an island for the rest of our lives?
“It seems like there was one more thing. On the island.”
Was the “one more thing” something that I couldn’t recall, or had mentioned in my bid to talk her into moving? But it had to do with our island paradise, I was sure.
And then “Fruit remembered.” Oh, those last two words. We discussed at length after we got back how the fruit tasted so much better there, picked full of flavor from the tree instead of being shipped to the mainland to ripen in a warehouse, or in a grocery store bin.
I couldn’t wait for her to get home.
In the meantime, I went to the store and bought a coconut, a shriveled mango, and a hard papaya. Back at home, I changed into one of my traditional “aloha” Hawiian shirts. I scrolled through my iPod, and found the Iz music we bought there and ran it through our sound system.
Then I waited for to come home with the good news.
The garage door opened. I positioned myself at our breakfast bar. She came in with two grocery bags and before I could say anything, she dropped them on the counter with a frustrated grunt.
“I sent you a text you didn’t answer. I forgot left my Post-It note on the island here in the kitchen this morning and couldn’t remember the last thing on my grocery list. It was bananas.”
She looked around and raised an eyebrow at the music. “Feeling tropical today?”
Instead of answering, I took a deep gulp of my coconut drink and sighed, suddenly recalling her questionable texting skills.
Even though we aren’t moving to Hawaii any time soon, I know one thing for sure.
Life with that gal is bananas!